The Northern Administration District (NAD) is defined in the province's Northern Municipalities Act, but its creation dates back to The Northern Administration Act, 1948, which provided for the administration and development of the northern part of Saskatchewan.
The NAD includes approximately half of Saskatchewan’s land area, but less than four per cent of the province's population. The North’s population of roughly 37,000 lives in approximately 45 communities, which include municipalities, First Nations reserves, settlements, and sometimes a combination of each.
Although rich in natural resources, this sparsely populated region is challenged by limited infrastructure, and lower education levels and average incomes when compared to the rest of the province. The isolation of the communities creates special circumstances for northerners working to build their economy and their homes.
The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes these challenges and puts a special emphasis on helping people within the NAD to realize their goals and to improve their standard of living. Government is strengthening key northern industries with an emphasis on forging partnerships among northern agencies, stimulating mineral exploration, forestry development, and supporting the tourism and commercial fishing sectors.